Tight Shirts & Booty Shorts: what is modesty?

Modesty sounds like a heinously archaic word, like something your great-grandma would nag you about & then yank your ear to emphasize her point. Is there a place for modesty in our society? I believe there is, but I think we need to transition our mindset away from seeing it as old-fashioned or confining. Rather, self-imposed modesty is about respecting your body and directing people to see you as a whole person, not just a physical shell. Just as there is not a one-size-fits-all dress or pair of jeans, modesty is extremely personal. Let’s explore this together:

My roommate Kathleen* walked around campus in high, high heels everyday. When we were alone she confessed that she didn’t always like how they felt, but she adored the attention it brought her. Is she immodest?

To some dark nail polish is the embodiment of scandalous, to others fish net stockings reek of overt sexuality. There are groups of women refuse to show their ankles, elbows, or hair. Conversely, there are women who expose it all, touting freedom of expression. 

One of my cousins, Sabrina, has an extremely large chest. She routinely buys tops that fit her appropriately yet her buxomness is always prominently displayed. Is she immodest?

There are individuals who believe that the beach eliminates the need for clothing. Their minimalist approach is a stark contrast to those who feel the need to swim fully clothed.

A different roommate of mine is extremely petite. She often wears extremely tiny shorts. Most ‘normal’ length shorts look ridiculous on her small frame; as a result she walks around in short shorts. Is she immodest?

Modesty, while outwardly expressed, is a reflection of the heart. What is your aim when getting dressed? Is it to ‘sell’ yourself? To present a unique sense of style? Be provocative? Express yourself artistically? Your motives are important. What are you saying with your clothes?

*all names have been changed

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